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Christianity frontpageCatherine Stuff

I've managed to buy a very nice early-19th century print from eBay showing the St Catherine's Chapel at Guildford, from Hassell's Views of England. Comparing it with the photographs on the previous page, you can see the ruins have become a bit more ruinous in the intervening nearly-two-centuries.St Catherine's Chapel, Guildford, print
These interesting items appeared over recent days on eBay. The banner on the left is
probably early-20th century, and is Belgian. The middle figure shows St Catherine as the finial of a 17th-century silver spoon. The possibly early-19th-century statue I decided was simply too queer even to consider buying, quite apart from how odd the composite image makes it look.
St Catherine bannerSt Catherine SpoonSt Catherine statue
However, I did succeed in purchasing this little Peruvian shrine depicting St Catherine. There's a South American tradition of painting images of the saints, particularly on small plates of tin, andmounting them in little domestic shrines like this one. The drawer is for religious medals andtrinkets. St Catherine retablo, doors closedSt Catherine retablo, doors open
'Grande Banniere de Sainte Catherine' on eBay, February 2010
This amazing artefact came up for sale on eBay recently. I considered putting in a bid for it, but it sold for over 530! If forced to hazard a guess I would say it dated to the 1840s or 50s, though the reference on the back to the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary suggests a date after 1854 when the doctrine was promulgated by Pope Pius IX. The face and hands of the saint seem to have been painted, while the embroidery is very thick and heavy, virtually 3-D. The back (or was it perhaps the front?) bore an equivalent image of the Virgin Mary, but at some point this has been removed. The silk is a bit tatty in places, but it really is an astonishing piece of religious memorabilia.Grande Banniere de Sainte CatherineGrande Banniere de Sainte Catherine
Grande Banniere de Sainte CatherineGrande Banniere de Sainte Catherine
There are various historic sets of vestments which depict St Catherine, especially from the golden age of English church embroidery in the 13th and 14th centuries. But I have fair confidence in saying that this is the world's only set actually dedicated to the Martyr. I commissioned them a few years ago from J&M Sewing of Newcastle with a gift from a church I looked after for a while. The style is Spanish and the stepped cross on the back French, and they are voluminous and almost too grand! They don't get a huge amount of use so with careful keeping should long, long outlast me and could easily be still in use in a couple of hundred years' time (unless the Parousia comes first!). St Catherine Vestments

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